I know I'll get some flak for this, but it's all business, nothing personal: I avoid drug reps like the plague (and I say this with some good friends who are reps who are very nice people).
It's a personal, ethical choice. I get what I need from medical publications, meetings. I don't need some hot-rep-in-a-miniskirt, or powersuit (I know it's a generalization, but it's apparently true. Didja read that CNN article a couple of years ago showing Pharma tends to preferentially hire good looking people? Which means I'll never have a future in a pharmaceutical firm!), to tell me how good their medications are. And so, I avoid drug lunches (when they peddle their products over a meal) whenever possible. For one, my lunchtime is my zen time, not to listen to someone talk. But mainly, as much as I love Chick-Fil-A, or Panera's, or whatever else they may buy, the fact is this:
It may be free, but really, way down the line, someone's paying for those meals. My patients.
A big chunk of the $300/month cost my patient is putting up with probably ends up in doctors' tummies.
And so, this is a personal choice of mine (realizing too that drug lunches has their benefits too). I avoid them. And the reps know it. And yet, in our clinic we have a strict policy: peddle your stuff only at lunch, do not interrupt the providers in their offices.
I imagine there must me others like me for big pharma to come up with something as (pathetically) ingenious as this to 'speak' to doctors who are avoiding their reps:
(as amused as I am with this, again, I catch myself thinking. Can't they have spent the $$$ they used on this, to make the drugs cheaper?? And no, I'm not promoting or discouraging the use of this product)(but then again, I'm Asian and hence cheap, and I try to use generics whenever possible )